How to play Enhancement Shaman and use Rotations

This Guide has been written in 2009 when Ulduar was the highest Instance. Now that Cataclysm has been incoming I suggest you take a look here for updated Information:


The Enhancement Shaman Guide 4.0


A lot of search queries here seem to be related to questions about how to play an Enhancement Shaman and which Rotations to use. I will try to summarize this from my own experience, so do not expect any scientific approach and trust my gut feeling 😉

With 3.0 Developpers promised to make Enhancement Shaman „less mathy“, but the opposite is the fact. Noone knows exactly what is best at the moment, everybody has a different statweight for his character and his playstyle. No simulator can actually help with that. While we believe to know all theories on how our strikes and spells are being calculated, simulators are only as good as their programmers. They also do not take things in count like tanks moving out of totem ranges, or the occasional offheal, placing totems new situational totems. I guess not even for a static fight like Patchwerk they are 100% accurate. However if you have no idea which stats you should be looking for then you should use one of the known Simulators which will give you a rough estimate how many points each stat is worth for you!


Personally I go for:

  1. Attack Power
  2. Crit Rating
  3. Hit Rating
  4. Expertise

All other stats I take as they come. I prefer longer lasting proc effects than short ones, due to the nature of our spells. If our wolves last 45 seconds then a trinket like Fury of the Five Flights will make them stronger for the whole duration while mirror of truth will only boost them for a short time.

Except for Attack power, which will never cap, these stats become less powerful the higher they are for you.

I prefer slow weapons in main and offhand, and imbue the offhand with Flame Tongue Weapon. I simply like the burst these weapons give, but a bad slow offhand is worse than a good fast one. Just test it out on a target dummy what works best for you!

Let us look at some Talents:

Elemental Devastation:

Elemental Devastation Talent

This is the reason I prefer crit rating over Agility. While Agility will only benefit our melee crit rating (and Attack Power), ciritcal strike rating will also rovide us with spell crit, which we need to get Elemental Devastation running.

Personally I aim for at least 25% spellcrit and use Glyph of Flametongue Weapon as third major glyph, because I think in the end we will benefit a lot form this.

Since we cast about 3-4 Spells per 10 seconds we should have a buffed spellcrit chance of 33% or more.

Often overlooked is the benefit of focus magic, if you have a mage in your raid/group have it cast on you.

Focus Magic

Focus Magic

Each time you critically hit with melee weapons, totems or spells he will get a 3% spellcrit buff. In a 12 second timeframe we are – even with slow weapons – talking about ~7 melee auto attacks, ~2-4 stormstrikes, ~2 shocks, ~2 Lava Lash, ~1-2 Lightning bolts, ~4 Flame Tongue hits, ~6 Magma Totem pulses. This averages out at 2 possible procs per second, which I doubt any other class can provide, especially not with our average physical critical hit chance of 45-52%.

On the other hand, the benefit of crit chance is also limited, too much of it is as bad as too little. I think at around 28% spellcrit chance (selfbuffed) you can stop using enchants like Icewalker and replace them with Attack Power.

Maelstrom Weapon:

Maelstrom Weapon Talent

This talent scales very nice with Haste and Hit Chance, it can proc also from Windfury Attack, Lava Lash, Stormstrike. Sometimes you see it stack up in less than 5 seconds, while it takes a lot longer at other times. This talent makes shaman very fun to play, but its randomness also destroys any kind of rotation we may have.

Enhancement Shaman Rotation:

So how are we going to priorize our abilities?

  1. Five Stacks of Maelstrom Weapon -> Lightning Bolt, Chain Lightning
  2. Stormstrike
  3. Shocks
  4. Lava Lash
  5. Renew Static Shock

This seems to work out best for me.

Lightning Bolt has a better coefficient than Chain Lightning, which means that with more spellpower it will hit harder than chain lightning. Ofc if there are multiple targets you use chain lightning, as each target may be critically hit and proc elemental devastation.

The difference between a good and a bad shaman?

It is kind of hard to say and people have different views on this. In my opinion as Shaman we are still support characters and there are plenty of situations where we can help out.

Place totems, change totems situational, don’t be shy to throw a heal here or there, If you can interrupt or purge abilities, then do it. I think in general we should have a broader overlook over the whole situation.

With all our buff and proces we need to be aware of this might prove hard, so how can we make enhancement easier to play?

How to easen up the burden of 10000 abilities.

Combine senseful abilities into 1 key. For example Lava Lash and our Shocks have a 6 second cooldown. This makes it kind of easy to macro.

Earth Shock, Lava Lash macro:

/cast [button:2][modifier:shift] Flame Shock
/castsequence reset=6target Earth Shock, Lava Lash, Earth Shock, Lava Lash, Lightning Shield, Earth Shock, Lava Lash

If you hit Shift or use the right Mousebutton, the macro will cast a Flame Shock, in any other case it will cycle, between Earth Shock, Lava Lash and after like 18 seconds renew the Lightning Shield – and each 30 seconds after.

I love this macro, since it removes all the need to look for cooldowns, to check if your Lightning Shield is still active. You can just spam the button and focus on more important stuff.

How to set up this macro:

Ingame type „/macro“ in your chat window, then the macro window appears. click on „New“, type in a name for the macro and select the „?“ as Icon.

Earth Shock and Lava Lash Macro

Then simply click „Okay“ copy & paste the text into the macro window and put it on your action bar.

Earth Shock and Lava Lash Macro

If you properly selected the red „?“ as Icon you will always see which spell is cast next.

Other Shaman Macro’s I use:

Stormstrike and Fishing in 1 Button:

/equipslot [worn:Fishing Poles,combat] 16 Calamity’s Grasp
/equipslot [worn:Fishing Poles,combat] 17 Angry Dread
/cast [worn:Fishing Poles] Fishing
/stopmacro [worn:Fishing Poles]
/cast Stormstrike

It will cast fishing if you have a Fishing Pole equipped and should you get into combat, equip your weapons. If you have weapons equipped you will start to attack and cast Stormstrike.

Lightning Bolt and Lava Burst:

In relation to the Flame Shock from our cycling Lava Lash and Earth Shock Macro above here is the Lightning Bolt/Lava Burst Macro.

/cast [button:2][modifier:shift] Lava Burst
/cast Lightning Bolt

When you press shift you will see that Flame Shock and Lava Burst are easily available in those rare cases where you need it as enhancement Shaman.

Ghost Wolf Macro:

#showtooltip Ghost Wolf
/cast [nostance,nomounted,nobutton:2] Ghost Wolf
/use [nostance,nocombat,nomounted,noflyable,button:2][modifier:shift] Raven Lord; [nostance,nocombat,button:2] Plagued Proto-Drake
/dismount [mounted]
/cancelform [stance]

It will use Ghost Wolf if you press it, use Reins of the Ravenlord as ground mount and Plague Proto Drake and Flying Mount if you right click the macro. Notice that Wintergrasp and Dalaran are marked as Flyable, even though they are not. Also if you do not have Cold Weather Flying the area is still tagged as flyable and the macro will try to use the flying mount. If you right click the macro while holding shift it will always select the ground mount.

Windfury. Flame Tongue, Frost Brand and Earthliving Weapon

/cast [modifier:shift][button:2] Flametongue Weapon;[nomodifier] Windfury Weapon; [modifier:alt] Frostbrand Weapon; [modifier:ctrl] Earthliving Weapon

Totem Macro

/castsequence reset=combatshift6 Strength of Earth Totem, Windfury Totem, Magma Totem, Mana Spring Totem

SCT /Scroling Combat Text) and Maelstrom Weapon:

If you use SCT, you can easily set up a more visible Notification for Maelstrom Weapon. In the configuration Window, under Custom Events creater a „New Event“

Maelstrom Weapon Config SCT Scrolling Combat Text

Give the Event a Name, Maelstrom Gain, Event Type: „Aura Gains“, Display „*1“, Target „Player“, Search „Maelstrom Weapon“, select the Frame you want to see it in, and set the Aura Count to „5“. If you also select „Make Critical“ it will show larger and longer.

Maelstrom Weapon Gain SCT Scrolling Combat Text

And create another Event to see when you lose the Aura again (after a spellcast, e.g.).Name „Maelstrom Fade“, Event Type „Aura Fade“, Display „*1“, Search Maelstrom Weapon, Aura Count „0“

Maelstrom Weapon Fade SCT Scrolling Combat Text

Now you have a nice big green Message, when you gain 5 Stacks of Maelstrom Weapon clearly visible and easy access to your key spells. You no longer need to constantly loot at buffons and buffs and can easily focus what is happening around you.

Here is a great website that has more indepth information and a more mathy approach to the subject. It is a great place for information, just follow this link.

21 Antworten auf „How to play Enhancement Shaman and use Rotations“

  1. i want to use that fishing/stormstrike macro. i dual wield „Tankards of Terror“ right now, but with different enchants on each one. Mongoose on one, Blade Ward on the other. How can I specify which one to equip where. I would like to have Mongoose on the Main Hand slot.

    thanks. these are great macros!

    1. I fear, I do not have a way of solving that. I have dual Stormpike cleavers atm and it bugs, too. It has always been buggy to use macros with 2 items that have the same name. Maybe the Outfitter can help you with it.

  2. wait.. thought just occurred to me… we have those „set“ buttons we make in our character equipment page. i already have my reg and fishing set as buttons to push. could those be linked somehow in a macro? i would have no idea how to write it… but could something like that be done?

    and oh! please tell me you are writing a macro that will trigger fire nova spell whenever a magma totem is cast. that might be fun to experiment with.

    1. European Realms are down, but you could so something like a castsequence Macro … But a quick macro that should work is here:

      /castsequence reset=combat Magma Totem, Fire Nova, Fire Nova, Fire Nova

      You need to experiment a bit with it 🙂

  3. Thank you so much. I just switched to an enhancement shaman after leveling with elemental ( Im level 77 ) and when I saw and then proceeded to use your macros I /jizz pants. Thank you also for gemming, I was going to jem agility… Thanks again

  4. Perfect Rotation it does everything you need just apply your wep buffs and apply your shields once and your good to go with this one!

    /castsequence reset=6target Call of the Elements, Stormstrike, Earth Shock, Lava Lash, Fire Nova, Stormstrike, Earth Shock, Lava Lash, Magma Totem, Lightning Shield, Flame Shock, Lava Lash, Fire Nova

  5. thx for the enhancment macro with all the spells in <3 😀
    u think u can find one with all elemtal spells in? ^^
    would be awsome 😀 and thx for the other macros to ;P
    this helped me very mutch ;;D;D;DDD;D;DDDDDDDDDDDDDDD;;;D;D;D;D;D;D;D

  6. Slant I want to know if there is posible to get a macro for boosting my stormstrike; I want to ekip a 2-handed weapon just for casting stormstrike, then change back to dual wield.

    1. @püs
      I do not play Elemental, sorry. Can’t help there 😀 But I guess the rotation is less random than enhancement and thus easier to macro

      @ Carvanth
      Don’t forget to swap Wepaons you lose 1 GCD, then cast stormstrike and lose another GCD. I highly doubt that there is any scenario where that is useful 😀
      You can probably do a to swap a Weapon to 2 Hander

      /equipslot [noequipped:Two-Handed Axes] 16 NAMEOFWEAPON
      /Cast [Equipped:Two-Handed Axes] Stormstrike

      and a
      /equipslot [equipped:Two-Handed Axes] 16 NAMEOF1HANDERWEAPON
      /equipslot [equipped:Two-Handed Axes] 17 NAMEOF1HANDERWEAPON
      /cast [Equipped:One-Handed Axes] Lava Lash

      in a second macro

      But still, I don’t think it is a dps gain.

      1. @zuzuu
        I am really no fan of individual consulting, I get a lot of requests like these but I prefer to link to the enhancement post which is featered at the content slider on top. Stuff that is not covered by this I do not mind answering on that page or on the FAQ one on the top right.

  7. Yes, you are totally right, that wont work. Thanks for the advice.

    And one more thing. When I cast my Feral Spirits i need to click the „attack“ icon in their action bar.
    Do U know of a macro that will automatic put them in attack position when i summon them?

    1. #showtooltip
      /Cast Feral Spirit

      It could also be that your wolves are set to passive, you can set them to defensive so they will attack your target.

  8. Not sure if u check this still Myr but i took ur macro from the pve roation and replaced lightning shield with stormstrike and was jus wondering how to make it not reset? Looks like it stops after 2-3 rotations for awhile with a 30 second cooldown? i dont want it to reset

  9. @Flamei

    /castsequence reset=6target Call of the Elements, Stormstrike, Earth Shock, Lava Lash, Fire Nova, Stormstrike, Earth Shock, Lava Lash, Magma Totem, Lightning Shield, Flame Shock, Lava Lash, Fire Nova“

    Using Call of the Elements in a cast sequence on a long fight would cast it again and again burning up a lot of mana. It would probably be best to replace it with Magma Totem, and cast Call of the Elements separately before a fight AND without a fire totem since it will be cast in the macro.

    This is my main rotation macro. I have other macros that compliment this one:

    /console Sound_EnableSFX 0
    /castsequence reset=6 magma totem,stormstrike,lava lash,fire nova,earth shock,lightning shield,stormstrike,lava lash,fire nova,earth shock
    /console Sound_EnableSFX 1

    Magma Totem should get refreshed just before it runs out even with casting Maelstrom(5) 2-3 times. However if there’s a lot of movement or you are unable to mash the macro repeatedly, just make sure you refresh Magma Totem or the macro won’t work. Fire Nova won’t cast without a fire totem, so your castsequence will be stuck until you drop a fire totem.

  10. Many of your rotations omit flame shock… now on a boss your flame shock in the long run will tick for more then your earth shock and you will be able to use both in a singular rotation. However at the same time a rotation isn’t as necessary as knowing what to do in a situation. On an AOE that I know will die fast I set down my totems and open with a fire nova right off the bat now because of the fact the burst damage will help then I continue with the stormstrike… Earth shock. Of course I can cast my Fire Nova every 3 seconds thanks to spec and glyphs.

  11. I feel like i am not doing as much dmg as i could be i am fully vicious and need to be doing way more dmg. I feel like i don’t have moves to press when my only 2 main ones are on cooldown.

    1. @Joe
      Hard to diagnose without further information, full vicious means that you are talking about pvp? If you are wondering about pve then it is most likely lack of stats, and zg + valor gear should be an upgrade for you. With unleash, shocks, instatn casts, there is most likely always a button to press.

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